Arancini is a perfect appetizer utilizing leftover risotto or leftover charred corn. This dish can be made with any style of risotto, using summer corn is just a way to celebrate the end of summer as the seasons change to the cool fall evenings. I love risotto and use it as a vessel to use the random odds and ends I have in my cooler. Feel free to be adventurous with what you put in the risotto. These go great with herbed aioli or spicy tomato jam.
Serves : 6-10 people
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time : 45-50 minutes
For the Risotto –
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (2 extra tablespoons butter to finish dish)
1 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
6 cups hot corn stock (chicken stock can be a good substitution)
2-3 ears of corn (remove husks and silk and discard)
1 white onion, finely diced
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon Kosher salt and black pepper (more if desired)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced chives or green onion
For Corn Stock –
2-3 each charred ears of corn (kernels cut off and reserved for risotto)
Onion scrap from dicing
1 each carrot, peeled and cut in to pieces
1 each celery rib, washed and cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 each bay leaves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
8 cups water or chicken stock
For Arancini Breading –
3 farm eggs
1 box panko breadcrumbs (smashed)
1 cup corn flour or masa harina
2 cups all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Lard or vegetable oil for frying
- Heat the grill and grill corn until all sides are charred.
- Cut the corn off of the cob and use for the risotto.
- In a medium heavy bottomed crock, place the corn cobs and ingredients for the stock bring to a boil.
- Turn down to a simmer and cook for a couple hours. I like to remove the corn cobs and scrape the leftover corn to get the remaining corn off and add back to the pot.
- In another medium crock, warm olive oil or butter and cook onions until they are soft (about 10 minutes). Add the arborio rice with corn kernels and spices.
- Toast for a couple minutes constantly stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Add wine and cook until dry.
- Pick the vegetables out of the corn stock and keep heat on low.
- Add in a couple cups to the arborio rice.
- Stirring constantly and cook until the stock is almost completely absorbed.
- Repeat this process until the rice is cooked. For Arancini you want it slightly overcooked and a little drier than risotto.
- Stir in chives, butter and parmesan cheese.
- Lay out on a tray and cover with plastic.
- Let the risotto chill in the cooler.
- For perfect risotto you want the rice to be creamy and tender (20-25 minutes approximately). The rice should change from crunchy to silky soft. You don’t have to add all the stock.
- Set up breading station using 3 pie pans. Flour in the first with salt and pepper.
- Egg wash, beat eggs with about 3 tablespoons water in the second.
- Breading in the third pan, panko smashed mixed with the corn flour.
- With a small cookie scoop, portion out the risotto and roll them in your hand until a circle is formed.
- Add 5 at a time to the flour and roll them until thoroughly coated. Knock off all leftover flour and add to egg wash.
- With your opposite hand, pick up and add to the breading.
- Roll in the breading and pick up with your dry hand.
- Keep one hand dry and one hand will be your egg wash hand. This makes the breading job fairly clean.
- Put the balls on a plate.
- Add enough lard to come halfway up a medium cast iron pan.
- Bring the lard to 350-360F and fry until dark brown.
- Remove with a spider onto a pan with a wire rack or paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Enjoy with a herbed aioli sauce or spicy tomato jam!